Welcome Bonuses vs Sign-up Bonuses: What's the Difference?

Ethan Lim
Written byEthan LimWriter

In online casinos, two types of bonuses are given to players, which are known as Welcome bonuses and sign-up bonuses. These bonuses are the best things for players as they help to increase the bankroll. So players can play more, or basically, they can just play without spending their money. However, there are some things to consider before choosing, so players need to know about the pros and cons of both bonuses.

In this article, we will be discussing everything related to sign-up bonuses and welcome bonuses. Players should keep reading until the end to find out more about the bonuses. So, let’s get started right away without wasting any time.

Welcome Bonuses vs Sign-up Bonuses: What's the Difference?

What are Sign-Up Bonuses?

Sign-up bonuses are promotions offered to new customers when they first register an account with a business. Sign-up bonuses are sometimes intended to encourage new consumers to create an account and begin utilizing a service or product. The term "sign-up bonuses" might refer to a discount, a free credit offer, or other benefits.

Types of Sign-up Bonuses:

  • Free bet bonus: Similar to the free play bonus, this type of bonus offers a certain amount of free bets that can be used to wager on sports. The bonus is usually subject to certain terms and conditions, such as minimum odds or wagering requirements.
  • Risk-free bet bonus: This type of bonus offers a refund for your first bet if it loses. For instance, if you wager $50 and lose, the online sportsbook will credit your account with the whole $50. This bonus is typically subject to certain terms and conditions, such as a maximum refund amount or minimum odds for the bet.
  • Fixed bonus: This type of bonus offers a set amount of bonus funds when you sign up for an account.
  • Variable bonus: This type of bonus offers a bonus amount that varies based on the size of your deposit or wager. For instance, an online casino could match 100% of your initial deposit up to $500.

What are Welcome Bonuses?

Welcome bonuses, on the other hand, are promotions offered to customers who make their first deposit or purchase after registering an account. Welcome incentives are intended to thank clients for advancing in their engagement with a company. Welcome bonuses may take the form of free spins, bonus credits, or other types of rewards.

Types of Welcome Bonuses:

  • Match bonuses: Match bonuses are the most prevalent bonuses that online casinos and bookies give. Match bonuses typically match a percentage of the player's deposit, often up to a certain amount. A 100% match bonus up to $500, for example, signifies that the player can get a bonus equal to 100% of their deposit up to $500.
  • No Deposit Bonuses: No deposit bonuses are perhaps the best welcome bonuses as they do not need the player to make a deposit in order to be eligible for the bonus. These types of bonuses are often smaller than match bonuses but can still be a great addition to the bankroll.
  • Free Spins: Free spins bonuses are typically offered by online casinos and are often tied to specific slot games. These bonuses allow players to spin the reels for free and can often be a great way to try out a new slot game without risking any money.
  • Cashback Bonuses: Bonuses that repay a part of a player's losses over a predetermined time frame are known as casino cashback bonuses. A 10% cashback incentive, for instance, would reimburse the player for 10% of his or her losses over the course of a week.
  • Reload Bonuses: Reload bonuses are similar to match bonuses, but they are offered to existing players who make a deposit after their initial deposit. These bonuses are often a great way for players to get additional value from their deposits and can keep players coming back to the online casino or bookmaker.

Key Differences Between Sign-Up and Welcome Bonuses

Sign-Up Bonuses

The main difference between sign-up and welcome bonuses is the point at which they are offered to customers. New customers receive sign-up bonuses when they create an account, while existing customers receive welcome bonuses following their initial purchase or deposit.

Pros of Sign-Up BonusesCons of Sign-Up Bonuses
Quick access to bonus funds: Unlike welcome bonuses, sign-up bonuses are typically credited to your account immediately upon signing up.Lower bonus amounts: Sign-up bonuses are typically smaller than welcome bonuses, so they may not provide as significant of a boost to your bankroll.
Simple terms and conditions: Sign-up bonuses often have fewer restrictions and terms and conditions than welcome bonuses.Less opportunity to try new games: Since sign-up bonuses may be more flexible, you may not have the opportunity to try out specific games like you would with a welcome bonus
Flexibility: Sign-up bonuses may be used on a wider range of games than welcome bonuses.Short expiration dates: Some sign-up bonuses have very short expiration dates.
No money down necessary: For individuals who wish to test out a new platform without risking their own money, there are sign-up incentives available that don't need a deposit.Lower winnings potential: Since sign-up bonuses are typically smaller, you may not have as much opportunity to win big compared to a larger welcome bonus.

Welcome Bonuses

Pros of Welcome BonusesCons of Welcome Bonuses
Large bonus amounts: Welcome bonuses are typically larger than sign-up bonuses, which can provide a significant boost to your bankroll.Wagering requirements: Many welcome bonuses come with wagering requirements, which means you must wager a certain amount before you can withdraw any winnings.
Opportunity to try out new games: Welcome bonuses may be tied to specific games, allowing you to try out new titles without risking your own money.Time limits: Some welcome bonuses have a short time frame in which you must use them or lose them.
Reduced risk: With bonus funds, you can play with less risk and potentially win without spending much of your own money.Terms and conditions: Like all bonuses, welcome bonuses come with terms and conditions that must be carefully read and understood to avoid any confusion or disappointment.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Sign-Up Bonus

  • Businesses should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the campaign before deciding on a sign-up incentive to provide.
  • The cost of the incentive, the target market, and any potential effects on long-term consumer loyalty are a few variables to take into account.

Unpacking Welcome Bonuses

Although welcome bonuses are meant to encourage clients to deepen their engagement with a business, sign-up incentives are meant to get new customers to open an account.

Features of Welcome Bonuses

  • Typically offered to customers who make their first deposit or purchase.
  • It may take the form of free spins, bonus credits, or other rewards.
  • It may be a successful strategy for fostering consumer loyalty and encouraging repeat business.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Between Sign-Up and Welcome Bonuses

The biggest difference between sign-up bonuses and welcome bonuses is when they are offered. Although welcome bonuses are provided to clients who have already joined up and made their first deposit or purchase, sign-up incentives are often provided as an incentive for new consumers to sign up for a service or product.


The qualifying restrictions between the two are another significant distinction. All new clients often qualify for sign-up bonuses if they fulfill certain requirements, such as being a new customer, inputting a promo code, or making a minimum deposit. On the other hand, welcome bonuses are often reserved for customers who have met more specific criteria, such as making their first deposit or meeting certain spending requirements.

Bonus Amount and Structure

The size and format of the incentives vary between sign-up bonuses and welcome bonuses as well. In contrast, to welcome bonuses, which are often a percentage of the customer's initial deposit up to a specified amount, sign-up bonuses are frequently a fixed sum, such as $100 or $200. Additionally, welcome bonuses may be structured as a tiered bonus, where customers receive additional bonuses for making multiple deposits or meeting other spending requirements.

Wagering Requirements

Finally, sign-up bonuses and welcome bonuses may have different wagering requirements. Wagering requirements refer to the amount of money a customer must bet or play through before they can withdraw any winnings earned from the bonus. Sign-up bonuses may have higher wagering requirements, as they are often offered in larger amounts, while welcome bonuses may have lower requirements to encourage customers to keep playing.


To sum up, welcome bonuses and sign-up bonuses are two popular promotional strategies used by online gambling platforms to attract new players. Although both types of bonuses offer incentives such as free spins or bonus money, they differ in several ways. Sign-up bonuses usually require players to make a deposit, while welcome bonuses can be claimed without a deposit.

When choosing whatever bonus to claim, players should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. Understanding the differences between these two types of casino bonuses is crucial for players to have a fulfilling online gambling experience.

About the author
Ethan Lim
Ethan Lim

Ethan Lim, a native of the Lion City, is Singapore’s rising star in the domain of online casino guide localization. He masterfully blends his intimate knowledge of local culture with international gaming standards to produce content that resonates deeply with Singaporeans.

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Are welcome and sign-up bonuses the same thing?

No, welcome bonuses and sign-up bonuses are different types of rewards that companies offer to new customers. While they may have some similarities, they have distinct characteristics and are designed to achieve different goals.

What is a welcome bonus?

A welcome bonus is a type of incentive offered to new customers as a way to encourage them to try out a product or service. Typically, welcome bonuses are only available to individuals who have never used the company's product or service before.

What is a sign-up bonus?

A sign-up bonus is a type of reward that companies offer to new customers when they create an account or sign up for a service. Sign-up bonuses can take many forms, including discounts, free trials, or exclusive access to certain features.

How do welcome bonuses differ from sign-up bonuses?

Welcome bonuses are designed to incentivize individuals to try out a product or service for the first time, whereas sign-up bonuses are meant to reward people for taking an action (i.e., creating an account or signing up for a service). Additionally, welcome bonuses are typically only available to first-time users, whereas sign-up bonuses may be available to new and existing customers.

Which type of bonus is better: a welcome bonus or a sign-up bonus?

The answer to this question will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you are trying out a new product or service for the first time, a welcome bonus may be more valuable to you. If you are already familiar with the company and are signing up for a new service or product, a sign-up bonus may be more appealing. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on the specifics of the bonus being offered and your personal needs.

The Impact of Sign-Up Bonuses on Responsible Gambling

The Impact of Sign-Up Bonuses on Responsible Gambling

The online gambling industry is continuously getting popular on a daily basis. Due to this, the competition in the market is increasing, and online casinos are providing more and more sign-up bonuses to the players to attract them. This is a great business strategy to get more players, but what about the impact of sign-up bonuses on responsible gambling?